Southern's Community Biking Trails Featured in Chattanooga's First Festive Forest


Southern Adventist University joins other organizations and businesses, spreading cheer as sponsors of the inaugural Festive Forest with 50 live, lit trees in downtown Chattanooga’s Miller Park. In collaboration with city officials and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), EPB’s decades-long holiday tradition of decorating its storefront windows on MLK Boulevard has been expanded to the park’s creative display across the street.

The university’s sponsored evergreen is decorated with donated bike parts to feature the nearly 40 miles of trails on Bauxite Ridge and White Oak Mountain, spanning the east and west sides of the rural Collegedale campus.

“We are excited to bring a little of our campus to Miller Park for community members to enjoy this Christmas season,” said Tom Verrill, senior vice president for Financial Administration at Southern and BBB board member. “We consider it a high honor to be embraced as part of the Chattanooga area where so many of our alumni live, work, and serve. Our tree in the Festive Forest features one of Southern’s hidden treasures that is free and open to the public.”

Southern also recognizes local alumni and business owners who helped support the university’s Festive Forest tree. Blluum, an Ooltewah-based floral and event design company owned by Southern alum and board member Christine Waldrop, decorated the tree with items provided, in part, by East Ridge Bicycles, owned by Southern alum Garth Mansfield.

The Festive Forest opened on November 22 and is free for visitors to view through December 31, ideally after dusk when tree lights are most vivid.

Southern is housed on 1,300 acres with a trail system offering sections of varying difficulty and suitable paths for everything from a meandering walk to a muscle-toning endurance workout on foot or cycle. The pine and hardwood forests also boast a paradise for nature enthusiasts with wildflowers, birds, and a creek habitat. To view maps and find additional information, visit

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